Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

20 x 2 and Online

Hey Everyone,

Hope everyone had a great week. We did up here in Dillon. We were able to teach 20 lessons again for the second week in a row. We haven't even come close to that kind of lessons in a two-week span since I've been here. We are trying to consistently meet the standard set by our leaders but at the same time remember behind every number is a person and that quality is better then quantity. It has been really nice to stay busy though. On Thursday and Friday nights we had set appointments at 5,6,7, and 8. When you're able to stay that busy at night in the winter when it gets dark and people turn in for the night it really helps. We are hoping to concentrate more on finding this week though. So, online proselyting started for me this week. Elder Hineman has to wait till next transfer because he's new. It’s been pretty cool getting things going. Mom had asked if anyone helped me set it up and that'd be a no. I did it all on my own. All of you will have to start checking out my blog at Mom if you could put a link to it on the other blog that'd be great. Also anyone that wants to add me to facebook and follow my missionary efforts online please add Elder Mitch Davis. You can't talk to me but you can follow what I'm up to and refer any less active people or none members who may have questions to be my friend on facebook. The more people I have following my efforts and giving me referrals the better things are going to be. Mom had asked about what all I can put on facebook and for the most part anything that’s sacred with the nature of our calling as missionaries but at the same time we're suppose to be normal people and not just Mormon robots. Haha

So we had two different lessons this week but they were pretty cool. One was a lesson with a less active guy who isn't all the way there but is a nice guy, he showed us some pretty cool magic tricks after the lesson and then taught them to us. So now I know some cool card tricks. Then at another less active families house when we came in they were watching American Idol and asked if we'd ever competed. We just cracked some jokes about AI and then Elder Hineman said I'm no good at singing but I can play a guitar. Brother R’s eyes got real big and next thing we know he comes back from a room with an electric guitar and an amp and hands it to Elder Hineman and says show me what you can do. And let me tell you Elder Hineman is pretty good. So the two of them jammed a little and then we had a lesson. I think some missionaries would scoff at what we did but I think it really built some trust with them and they seem to like us more now so I think it was good.

Glad Dad was able to talk to Sister P. They are a really nice couple in the ward. She's the YW Pres. and we had a really good dinner at their house. Also need to thank Gma G for the package she sent a while back and for the BYU flashlight. Also need to thank Coach Fidanza for the package and the Andy Roddick calendar. It’s a pretty cool calendar. So now I have the Christ one from Gma G and the Roddick one in our apartment. We heard at church that this older man Brother P had been in the hospital but was home so we decided to go visit him. I had never really met him at church but he's this awesome old guy straight from Scotland! He told us his conversion story about how he was invited to a party and when he got there it wasn't really a party it was a bunch of people listening to the Elders. At first he was mad but then stayed around and ate some good food after so he realized it wasn't too bad and kept coming back. That and one of the Mormon girls he thought was cute. Well he ended up marrying her and then at some point they moved to the Sugar House area of SLC and then to MT and they've lived a few different places in MT but have lived in Dillon a while. His wife passed away a few years back and is kind of lonely so we are going to keep visiting with him every week to give him some company. He has a bunch of cool Scottish stuff all over his house and he talks with an awesome accent. The first thing I thought when we went in there and started visiting with him is Grandpa Davis would love to talk to this guy. Brother P said he has a friend that still is living in the Sugar House area named E B. So Grandma and Grandpa Davis if you know him or of him let me know. We had a really good lesson with the Cs. We watched the Restoration and after were able to give her a blessing. Her health isn't the greatest but hopefully this will help her see the power of the Priesthood. Well I think that’s it for this week. The weather's been nice. I'm actually kickin it here at Brother J’s in shorts! :) I love you all. Have a great week. Hope to hear from you soon.


Elder Davis

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Monday, January 17, 2011

Great Week in Dillon!

Hey Everyone,

Well I hope your weather has warmed up like ours has here. It makes things so much nicer but we have to enjoy it while it lasts because soon it’s going to snow and be cold again. This was a pretty exciting week for us. It started out slow but picked up and we were able to find some new people to teach but more on that later. Anyway one thing our mission is really focusing on this year is trying to hit the goal of 20 lessons per week set by the First Presidency. They said that this time in 2008 this mission was averaging 9 lessons a week through out the mission. Right now we are averaging 13 lessons through out the mission. Our goal is to get that up to 20. So Saturday morning the zone leaders called and said they forgot to call us and tell us that our zone was trying to be the first zone to average 20 lessons as a zone. There were two other zones that were also trying to accomplish this. So the race was on. Well by the time we found this out we were at 12 lessons. So we were going to have to get 4 lessons on Saturday and 4 on Sunday. I'd say our average is normally 2-3 but we looked at our teaching pool and planned some things out and knew that we could hit 20. So Saturday and Sunday we hit it hard and despite not getting in contact with a few of our normal people we teach we taught 4 lessons each day to get us to 20. At the end of Sunday night we got the news that our zone was the first to call it in and report numbers and we were the first to average 20 lessons as a zone! It shows when you put forth a little extra effort things pay off.

I had talked about new investigators and one of them is a wife/mother of a part member family. She said that she would have joined the church by now but she feels like people here in Dillon judge her when she goes to church because of her past. We are hoping to help her overcome this obstacle but it’s going to be hard. One thing I've noticed in small towns in Montana is that it can be hard to get the full fellowship needed to help investigators feel comfortable in church because everyone has lived here forever and everyone knows each others dirty little secrets. It’s really unfortunate. Then you see a town like Havre where they are a little more diverse and they have great fellowship and success. Just an observation I've had.

Well Elder Hineman and I spoke in church this week. It went really good. I talked about sharing the gospel using the internet. There's a really good talk by Elder Ballard I'd invite everyone to check out. He talks on this topic and it really helped me with my talk. Well I better get going. I hope you all have a great week. Go BYU and Go Jimmer!!! Way to go droppin 47 on those Utes! Love and Miss you all.

-Elder Davis

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

Cold, Facebook and More

Hello Everyone,

It was good to hear from a few of you this week. Sounds like everyone's busy in this new year and that sickness is affecting a lot of people in some way. I think Elder Hineman and I just got over the little bit of sickness we had had so that is a blessing. So first off.... It’s Cold! It was nice the first part of the week but the last few days have been chilly for sure. It was -5 when we were driving over to the Jackson’s to email and lightly snowing. It's funny to see what different people tell us is going to happen with the weather and then what really does and doesn't. The word on the street right now is that it’s going to be really cold this upcoming week. We shall see though.

So the big news of the week came at our zone training in Helena this week. We had to get up at 4:00 am to get ready and go to Twin Bridges to meet the Sheridan/Whitehall Elders at 5:45 to get to Butte to follow the Butte Elders to Helena to get to Helena by 7:45. It was a crazy morning but I didn't have to do the driving like I've had to in the past so I just slept. Yet again it always feels good to be back in Helena! I was able to see Elder Goff for the first time in 10 1/2 months and was able to be with him and Elder Heywood together. So the big news was that we made our goal of 1000 saved souls!!! We hit 1006!! We needed 50 that last week and we had 56 to put us up and over and reach our goal!! Pres. Gardner was really excited. He commented on how we had made the goal and then he thought "What did we get ourselves into" but that we kept at it and the Lord was able to help us reach our righteous goals. The new goal for 2011 is 500+ baptisms, which would be about 100 more, than this year and 500+ reactivations. We are hoping to blow those numbers out of the water by getting people into the water. The other big news and focus of the training was to talk more about the online proselyte pilot program. Our mission is one of 8 missions to be doing this but it's up to each mission Pres as to what he wants to do with it. As of now there are about 100 missionaries online and 40 of those come from our mission. Well Pres. Gardner is really blazing some trails with this and is opening it up to all missionaries in the mission. You do have to have a special interview with him and they really focused on our new theme for 2011, which is "Entrusted by Heaven" and how we truly are being entrusted by heaven to participate and be allowed to facebook and blog. It's looking like it might be about 2 weeks or so and I'll be online! I'm excited to get to have this opportunity and am looking forward to seeing how we can use it in our work to further the work here in Dillon. I'm also excited to get to keep in contact with people from other areas. It’s going to be great to be able to keep encouraging those I've worked with in the past. After zone training we had team ups with Whitehall. We were able to do them how they are supposed to be done but rarely ever happens because we are so spread out and that is we split up and I went to Sheridan with Elder Mortenson and Elder Hineman and Elder Owens went to Dillon. We then spent the night where we were and were able to switch back Saturday thanks to Brother W giving us a ride. If it wouldn't have been for that ride it wouldn't have worked because of miles. One thing Elder Mortensen taught me while with him is how to rope which has no relation to missionary work but is kind of relaxing at the end of your day right before bed. He had a little miniature roping dummy that he ropes with these smaller ropes. He roped a bunch back home and was big into rodeo so it was kind of fun to learn how to do it from him. We've been doing a lot of less active and former investigator contacting this week and some of it is paying off. We are hoping those that said we could come back this week will turn into new investigators. We found out from Sister S that D, the man we set the baptism date with, has moved to Butte for now while they are trying to figure out if financially they can get married. So for now we have turned things over to the Butte Elders. We had a great lesson with the Cs. We are hoping to get her to start coming to church but she was sick the week so hopefully next week she'll come for the first time.

We're speaking in church in 2nd ward again this next week. It'll be good for Elder Hineman. I think I'm going to talk about and the church and how it’s using the Internet to spread the gospel. I hope it turns out. haha I think it will though. I almost like speaking in church now. I hope that doesn't sound too weird. haha

Well I better get going. I hope you are all doing well. Get feeling better. Have a great week and I love you all.

-Elder Davis

PS Yes Brett we got to skype on Christmas! The mission dept approved it but I guess your pres may not have. I don't know. It was Awesome though. I even got to see Ricky! haha

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Monday, January 3, 2011

Hello Snow!

Hello Snow and everyone out there!

What a wild week of weather we have had! Let me tell you though it’s been fun to bust out the big snow coat, gloves, hat, scarf, shoe covers, sweaters, and the long johns and get out and work in a wintery wonderland! Wednesday afternoon is when the temps started to drop and the storm rolled in. You could tell right away that it was going to be a big one by how much and how fast it was coming down. It was definitely also a new experience to drive in all of it for the first time. As we were coming home Wednesday night we hit our first experience with being stuck. The road we head out home to was full of snow but enough people had come down it that it was packed down. When we went off on a little side road that goes down hill to get the mail is when we hit our problem. We tried to come up the hill and we weren't going anywhere. Elder Hineman got out with the shovel but we quickly realized it wasn't deep snow that was affecting us. It was the newly fallen snow on top of the slick ground and the older snow. We were sliding in place. So finally I reversed it and then cut back across the hill and quickly turned up and around onto the other road. When I had done that I just kept driving slowly so that I wouldn't get stuck and Elder Hineman had to run and James Bond it into the car as I slowly drove. hahaha it was fun. We were suppose to go to district meeting Thursday in Sheridan but with this storm we didn't know if it'd be very safe to go. We woke up and it was a winter wonderland outside and there were a lot of big drifts. It was also very COLD! Probably around 0 if not negative. We didn't quite know if we were going to make it out of our driveway and into town with our car but somehow we did. Once out of Dillon the drive to Sheridan wasn't that bad because once you get headed out of Dillon the winds had picked up and the snow was all just blown away. After all the snowflakes had settled we had about 8-10 inches. We ended up getting stuck two more times this week. One on Thursday in town and a guy helped push us out and one coming back into our driveway Thursday night. That last one we had to reverse it and get a big running start in low and get up our banked driveway. I wish we had a truck but it’s building some good memories for two boys from Arizona. Hahaha Oh and then on Thursday night we were picked up by the members who were feeding us because they said we'd never make it in our car. Well as we rode down their lane in their 4-wheel drive we got stuck and had to walk to the house in the cold. We ate and then their home teacher came and bailed them out with his backhoe. hahaha only in MT do you get potentially stranded at your dinner appointment. Good thing we didn't have any set appointments because by the time we got out and back to our car it was almost time to head home. So that’s the snow and cold part of our week. The coldest it got was -20 with some wind chill. That was at night though so we didn't have to be out in it. The coldest we ever were probably in was -10 with some wind chill added to that.

Teaching and finding wise we had a great week. Best week in Dillon I'd say. We were able to find two new investigators including a member referral. The member referral is the fiancĂ© of a sister in the Second Ward who wanted to take the lessons. It was very apparent from the moment we started to teach them that he is very willing to learn and already has a testimony. It helped that she has already taught him a lot and he's already read through 2 Nephi. We commited him at the end of the first lesson to get baptized on the 29th of January. He has a lot of Word of Wisdom issues to work on but if he puts forth a strong effort I know the Lord will help him reach that date. We have met with him every day since Thursday and he was at church. He said he really enjoyed it but felt horrible when he had to go take a smoke so he really wants to quit now. It’s been amazing to see when you put forth more of an effort how the Lord blesses you. It’s been great to work with Elder Hineman so far. I really like him and I still love training especially for the third time. New Years Eve was good. Nothing too special though. We just hung out at Brother F's and listened to his war, hunting, and fishing stories. It was good. We were able to stay out till 10:30 and up till 12 but we were so beat we barely made it till midnight and then crashed. We were also able to sleep in an extra hour! Who knew waking up at 7:30 could be such a joy. Today was pretty fun. Brother F took us exploring. We went up near the reservoir and up in the mountains and then down to Lima and then almost to Idaho before he turned back. We saw a bunch of elk, deer, hawks, and even a bald eagle. It was fun to get out an enjoy the beauties of Montana. Well I better get going. I hope everyone has a good week. I hope everyone isn't too upset about having to start school and work again. I love you all. Stay warm. I know I'll be trying to.

Elder Davis